JIS News

Education, Youth and Culture Minister, Maxine Henry-Wilson, has called on social institutions including the church, to become more involved in setting the standards and values, which were needed for a quality education system.
“Even with government input in education, we need other social institutions to pitch in,” Minister Henry Wilson said, yesterday (Sept. 21), as she addressed a public lecture on ‘The Role of the Church in Education” at St Luke’s Church in Cross Roads.
According to the Education Minister, the church had a key role to play in maintaining the pillars of access, quality, equity and relevance on which the country’s education system was based. “We continue to find that in those schools, which the church plays a fundamental role, that the quality of the experience is greatly enriched,” she pointed out.
Furthermore, she said traditional schools, in which the church and other key social agents had been involved, were better structured and managed than schools, which lacked the support of key social institutions.
“A fundamental difference is made to an institution when there is a good school board chairman and principal who work in tandem, and the board takes responsibility for the school and sets the agenda .and then all the other support entities such as Parent Teachers Associations and Past Student Associations pitch in. That is the quartet that really makes the difference in many educational institutions,” Minister Henry-Wilson noted.
She charged the church, to continue helping to instil the values of self-confidence and tolerance in the nations children as well as to help them make a positive difference.
“The church has to prepare our people for the experiences, which they have not had and if we are able to prepare our students in that way, then I think the role of the church would not only be secured but the education system would ensure that those Christian values are perpetuated throughout the society,” the Minister stated.
Meanwhile, Reverend Dr. Alfred Reid, Anglican Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, called on churches to “stop living off the legacies of establishing and supporting schools in the past and seek to liberate people through education”.
“On the surface, the churches role in schools is in the past but we must look to promote moral awareness and use education to liberate as we believe in liberating the minds and souls of our people,” he noted.
He further called on the public not to ignore the pioneering role that churches had played in the education system, while noting that the institutions still had a lot to contribute.